Sagaing minister slams mining law

The Sagaing Region minister for agriculture and livestock criticised the Mining Law for being weak.

Kamzar Mone said the gold miners that operated recklessly continued their work after paying fines, and he claimed the law had flaws and needed reforms.

“The fines for a gold miner for violating the law range from Ks500,000 (US$370) to Ks1.5 million. Such amounts are nothing for them today. For example, they are obligated by the law to grow plants after mining. They ignore it and pay the fine of Ks500,000. They pay the fine of Ks1.5 million and mine the gold beyond their territories. They can resume mining after paying the fines anyway. So they have become disrespectful of the law.”

He called for an immediate reform of the law, saying it was outdated.

Than Dai, director of the No 2 Mining Enterprise under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, said that the gold miners could resume their operation after a brief suspension if they paid the fine.

The reports of illegal boats mining gold upstream on the Chindwin River surfaced in March.

Hkamti Township MP, Thein Hlaing Win, said: “I reported to the chief minister of Sagaing Region concerning the gold rush in the river, along with photo evidence three months ago. The chief minister ordered police to look into it. But the mining boats are still operating. So, I reported the issue again to the chief minister and the minister for security and border affairs. Still no one took action against the miners. The boats dump slag into the river, upsetting the flow of water, and make it difficult for other boats to travel. If this is to continue, the river will be damaged – so I hope the police take immediate action.”

Source: Eleven